When I started planning this trip about ten years ago, the concept was very different. At that time, my Mother was starting to get sick, I was working full time and had a part-time job, was taking up to 16 credit hours at a local Weekend College program, was volunteering and was forever buried in dirty laundry and dishes that never seemed to get caught up. My vision then was very simple: (1) Get in the car and (2) go somewhere else. Since we were buried in debt, I never had the funding to take that particular trip to the elusive location, somewhere else.
The responsibilities kept me from going and it is just as well. I could not have left during that time even though it was all I could think of some days. Fast forward about ten years and I am planning to do a real trip and I am amazed at how much actual planning it takes. I honestly thought I would throw a few things in a backpack and go. But this trip is taking on a life of its own.
Yesterday, Mike and I started a to-do list for the next few weeks in preparation of the launch date. We came up with six columns of things to take care of: Car things, Food, Camping/Sleeping, Necessities/Security, Blogging Tools and the Route. Each column has multiple tasks and items needed. How was I so far off the mark thinking I did not need much and that I could pack the night before and be gone down the road the next day?
So much has changed in ten years. For example, I am ten years older (now in my 50s), now I cannot eat gluten, cannot drive in the dark, I have health issues to monitor and money is still not all that readily available (this is not a plug for donations, just a statement of fact). So ten years later, this trip is much more complicated and a little overwhelming.
But in reality this trip is much more needed now. Before I just wanted to run away, pure and simple. I was not expecting any life changes other than I was just going to be gone. Now, I want to actually experience the sights this country has to offer, I want to meet new people, I want to leave my comfort zone and literally change my life. Running away would have solved nothing and would have made already stressful situations even worse. Today, I have a chance to become a better person and maybe leave a positive mark on others. I have already met some incredible people and I have not left home yet. There is a lesson out there for me, I may not be able to see it right now, but I know it is out there and I plan to learn it.